Out of Russia
A day before Putin announced mobilization—a first for Russia since WW2—I was in a taxi. We made a turn from a sun-lit street into a darker one, and the driver put the visor up.
— I don’t like it when these things are down, they block the view. I recently took a trip back to my Homeland…
— Where’s that?
— Kyrgyzstan. I took passengers for chunks of the trip, to save on gas money. One of them was from Dagestan, and he always kept his visor down. I mean, it’s nighttime, and he has it down.
— So I say, “Brother, why do you do that?” And he says, “You’re a good man, I don’t want to invite trouble your way.” Turned out, he was an extremist—I didn’t even know what the word meant; it’s like, when you’re against the authorities…
— Did he say what made him an extremist?
— He said he had a conflict with the муфтий. We have muftis in Kyrgyzstan, too.
— So how was the visor inviting trouble your way?
— The guy was savvy. And a good man, too. His plan was to drive all around Russia, from on…
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